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Another hunt before the rain!


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Listening to the weather report for Florida on Sunday was getting me discouraged.  A cold front was predicted to come through the state Monday afternoon and evening bringing rain, thunder storms and possible severe weather.  I had not been back to the Peace River for a week and was thinking if the rain hits hard it will be another week before the river is back at a level for easy hunting.  What to do?  A look at the hourly forecast for the areas of Wachula and Bowling Green, FL showed a 5% chance of rain at 8 am Monday, 20% at noon and 40% by 2 pm.  With that forecast I decided an early arrival at the river with a departure by 2 pm would be doable.  I was out of the house by 6:30 am and on the river paddling by 8 am.  It was overcast and breezy but no sign of rain.  The river was still nice and low and slow moving.  I decided to take some pictures on the way to my hunting grounds to compare with ones I took back in Oct/Dec when this fossil season started.  Here they are for a side by side type comparison.

 

First up a tree that partially blocks the river north of Payne Creek:

 

Dec 31, 2019 -

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Same tree as seen today-

 

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Next an area I refer to as the rapids as seen Dec 31, 2019 -

 

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Same area pictured today -

 

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Last is a palm tree that fell into the river.  I apologize for the blurry photos here, but the kayak was making it hard to steady the shot-

 

Oct 11, 2019 -

 

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Same tree today -

 

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So, you may be wondering how the fossil hunting went.  Very good I would say.  I think I am going to have to start calling the area I was in today the "Bone Yard".  Came up with two partial Proboscidian carpal bones, a nice chunk of mammoth tooth, a chip of mastodon tooth, turtle leg spur, some eagle ray pavement teeth, a fairly nice meg, several other misc shark teeth and several unidentified large bone fragments.  My plan to stay until 2 pm didn't quite work out. The wind really started blowing hard by 10:30 am.  A short time later the water flow seemed to be picking up.  Just as I found the meg in the sifter a small section of the nearby bank fell into the river.  I was starting to think I would leave by noon just to be safe.  Over the next hour I kept noticing the water flow increasing and more small areas of sand falling from the bank into the river.  That convinced me to leave before I became just another old fossil in the bone yard.  I made it back to the parking area as the wind continued to pick up and the water got a little rough.  Home is south and west of the river and I made the hour drive home before the downpours started.  All in all a good day!  The best finds are below:

 

 

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First carpal bone -

 

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Second carpal - in pretty bad shape:

 

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There were several additional bones found that I don't think will be able to be identified.  I am planning on posting the largest in the ID section once I can get some good pictures.  Looking forward to getting back out there at the end of the week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • I found this Informative 4
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Tidgy's Dad

Nice finds and very interesting to see the 'then and now' photos. :)

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Thanks Tidgy's Dad.  I thought folks who have not been to the river would enjoy seeing how much the water level can fluctuate.

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Cool finds! Glad you got to get out. Thanks for the before and after photos. I always here about members from Florida talking about water levels on the Peace River. It’s neat to actually see evidence of this.

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